Here we are, 22 December 2011 and it’s the longest day of the year. The days start getting shorter from now on.
Hang on, you say, wasn’t it yesterday, 21 December? No, I have it on good authority that because of the 1/4 day (365.25 days) in our years, every four years the solstices move one day.
That’s lucky, because I meant to write this yesterday!
|The Santa Clause
Anyway, another Christmas rolls around and what a year it’s been for me. One I wish I could erase and do over, to be honest, but it’s working out OK.
As you know, I got the idea that selling up and moving to Bali was the answer to all my dreams. Well, it could have been, but it turned out to be much harder than I thought. It seemed so easy at first, but it wasn’t in the end.
First, I couldn’t get a buyer for my house. I’d just assumed it would be snapped up due to the resources boom, but not so. I got one offer, but it was never formalised and was far too low.
Second, I’d assumed I’d be able to take Minnie to Bali with me, but no, due to the rabies scare up there, no animal imports allowed. That really upset me.
Third, getting rid of most of your possessions and furniture is a lot different to simply packing them onto a truck to move by road. It’s a lot harder than you think.
Fourth, the salesman felt my house was too cluttered and smelt of dog (quite true), so he stripped all the carpets and window treatments out and repainted the interior. Yes, he did it, with the aid of my good friend Keith, and he went far beyond the call of duty. I worked damn hard too, getting rid of most of my books and DVDs to a charity and taking a heap of stuff to charity op shops, along with many, many trips to a bulk rubbish bin. I also gave away nearly all my clothing to the Good Sammy bins etc.
Then there were three or four weekends of garage sales (I wish I hadn’t sold some things at such crazy low prices!) and all the cleaning and tidying each weekend for open house inspections.
All the while, I was going crazy under the pressure of what to do with Minnie. I couldn’t bear to give her away or leave her. She’s getting old now and increasingly lame from arthritis.
Then, early April, I had a little ride in an ambulance due to prolonged atrial fibrillations and spent a couple of days and nights in the hospital. Not serious, but a bit unsettling. And all this time, January to end of April, we had probably the longest, most persistent heat wave we’ve ever had! Every day was 33-36C for four months with virtually no rain.
So the period from January to end of April was almost too much for me. I’d committed to buy the villa in Bali, but I had no house sale to fund it. I’d paid almost all my money on a deposit and had a progress payment looming, which I couldn’t meet.
So I figured spending the whole month of May at the villa would let me relax and recuperate.
Instead, I fell into a deep depression up there. It felt like a hot, humid prison. Luckily, my brother and his wife and daughter were coming up to stay, so I had some company after the first 12 days but had to come back early to Perth.
However, it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good, and I’m pleased to say that it’s all worked out rather well. My brother and his wife had long held a dream of buying a place in Bali themselves, in part so as to get good child carers for their severely autistic daughter. My villa was a bit more elaborate than they’d planned, but it really is ideal for their purposes, so they decided to go in with me as a joint purchase.
In order to ease the costs, we decided to fit it out for rental and they’ve done a great job in this last half of the year. It’s ready to rent now, and is advertised on a Bali web site (http://www.bbevillas.com/villa/villa-frangipani
). They’re up there now for Xmas/New Year, doing the final preparations, and we should see some return on all the hard work soon.
Meanwhile, I’m still in my house in Perth, still with bare concrete floors and no curtains, but I don’t mind. Minnie’s still with me, and seems quite happy, even if she doesn’t look so good. I ain’t leaving her! I’ve lost my desire to go to Bali at the moment, but I guess I’ll get back there someday. When my ship comes in…